A mother who reported her baby had been kidnapped by a stranger has been taken into custody after the child was found dead in South Carolina Tuesday, according to reports.
Deputies said the woman told them she walked out to check her mailbox in Chesterfield County about 2 p.m. when a tan and gold SUV stopped in the middle of the road and a man got out of the vehicle and punched her multiple times in the head, television station WSOC reported. The mother stated the man then snatched her 11-month-old daughter, Harlee Lane Lewis.
She described the man as standing about 6 feet 2 inches tall, wearing a black coat, knit hat and one black glove, according to the Charlotte, North Carolina, TV station.
The kidnapping report prompted authorities to issue an Amber Alert.
Deputies immediately responded to the scene and began searching the area, looking for any signs of the baby girl. About two hours after the abduction was reported, they found the infant’s body “hidden inside a diaper box” in a field not far from the home, Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks said, according to Charlotte television station WBTV.
Authorities canceled the Amber Alert and took the mother into custody. Brooks, who declined to give further details, said “we canceled the Amber Alert because we don’t think there was a kidnapping.”
The child’s cause of death has not been released.
The mother, who has been identified as 19-year-old Brianna Lewis, is the primary suspect in the case and faces a charge of filing a false police report, WSOC reported. However, she could possibly face additional charges, according to the station.
“It may be wrongful disposal of body, maybe not reporting child death, maybe murder, not sure,” Brooks said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office at 843-623-2101.